Maundy Thursday

that’s today

Holy Week is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, and is an important piece of the Christian religion — it is important to Christian faith, too, though.

It is the evening of the Last Supper. The night when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and anointed them with oil. And then introduced them to the concept of “communion,” the Eucharist, sharing wine to denote His blood and bread representing his body, “given for us in forgiveness of sins.”

(Although they really didn’t understand at the time, I’m sure.)

The Last Supper would have been a traditional Passover Seder to the apostles, likely unaware that the accuracy of Jesus’ words would be realized the following day, on the cross.

But Judas knew. He’d already made the deal with the Sadducees and the Sanhedran, who wanted Jesus gone.

They’d chosen to free a total terrorist so that Jesus would die and be out of their hair. They figured they could deal with Barabas, but Jesus, he was a much bigger problem. People believed in what he said about God and it detracted from their own power. Little did they know…..

So, Maundy Thursday. According to Brittanica The name is thought to be a Middle English derivation taken from a Latin anthem sung in Roman Catholic churches on that day: “Mandatum novum do vobis” (“a new commandment I give to you”; John 13:34). 

I never got that word, Maundy. Now we know it was probably us peasants trying to remember a long Latin phrase, meaning a new commandment. Remember, no Bibles for the peasants in the Middle Ages. Everything you learned about God you learned from the priests, and it started in Latin. “Mandy” Thursday it was. Or close.

The whole article is here and it has lots of other interesting bits about how the Church celebrates elements of Holy Week and Lent. Those minutiae are interesting, but the point of the week is the culmination of Jesus’ mission on earth. Every day that week was important, and what various churches decided to do on them, in the 2000 years since ? Not so much.

our sky tonight

So, when you go to bed tonight, remember that this is the night Jesus spent praying in the garden. Basically asking his Father, God, to take it off his shoulders. Wouldn’t any of us? Because Jesus did know what was coming, and it was going to be awful before it was wonderful. He did that for us.

He prayed until his posse fell asleep, and Judas led the Romans to him.

The Judas kiss identified him and they carried him off, with most of his disciples silent or denying they knew him.

Life.

The son of God experienced the worst parts.

But before any of that happened, he had washed the feet of that posse and they had been taught a new commandment, “in remembrance” of Him.

Mandatum novum.

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